LONDON — Farfetch is opening its arms to more investors with a private placement of convertible debt worth $250 million.
The fashion retail platform said Thursday it has agreed to issue convertible senior notes in an aggregate principal amount of $250 million to Tencent and Dragoneer Investment Group.
Tencent, the global technology company headquartered in Shenzhen, China, has committed to purchasing $125 million of the notes, while the San Francisco-based investment firm Dragoneer will buy the remaining $125 million.
The transaction, which is subject to customary conditions, and the extra financial cushioning it offers was cheered by stock investors who have worried over the company’s results and its evolving strategy. Shares of Farfetch shot up 11.4 percent to $12.62 in morning trading on Wall Street. The new debt could be converted into shares at an initial price of $12.25.
Farfetch said the financing will supplement its current liquidity position. As of Dec. 31, the company’s cash and cash equivalents balance amounted to approximately $320 million.
The firm added that the additional capital will also support Farfetch’s “long-term strategy of delivering a global technology platform for the luxury fashion industry, and facilitates the company’s continued focus on executing its growth plans, including in the key China market, and driving toward operational profitability.”
Tencent’s investment in Farfetch reinforces the relationship between the two companies. Farfetch, which sees itself as a luxury gateway to China, is helping Western brands reach the consumer through Tencent’s WeChat platform.
Farfetch works with more than 80 luxury brands on WeChat. They include Moncler, Balenciaga, Saint Laurent, Armani and Ralph Lauren. It has helped to pioneer the use of key opinion leader mini-programs such as Mr. Bags, Shiliupo and ByFresh on WeChat.
José Neves, Farfetch founder, chief executive officer and co-chair, said Tencent’s “deep technology expertise and ongoing relationship with Farfetch, paired with Dragoneer’s expertise in supporting growth-oriented technology companies, makes both investors outstanding partners” to support future growth.
“As we continue to execute on our long-term strategy, we believe that this investment supports Farfetch in delivering on the significant opportunity we see and scaling our business to achieve profitability in the medium term.”
Martin Lau, president of Tencent, said his company“looks forward to supporting Farfetch’s mission to be a global technology platform for luxury fashion, and especially where we can support its efforts in China.”
Marc Stad, founder and managing partner of Dragoneer Investment Group, said, “We look forward to the company’s continued execution on its strategic vision to take the business to the next level.”
Farfetch said the notes will mature on Dec. 31, 2025, unless earlier converted, redeemed or repurchased in accordance with their terms. They will be senior, unsecured obligations of the company, bearing interest at a rate of 5 percent per year, payable quarterly.
This latest deal with Tencent strengthens the ties that Farfetch has with China’s e-commerce giants.
A year ago, Chinese e-commerce company JD.com merged its Toplife independent luxury shopping platform into Farfetch China.
As a part of the partnership, Farfetch received “Level 1” access on JD.com’s app. That means more than 300 million active JD.com users have seamless connectivity with 1,000 plus luxury brands and stores on Farfetch.
In 2017, Farfetch took a $397 million investment in JD.com. At the time, the deal expanded Farfetch’s business in China, and gave JD a luxury boost and access to something it’s long coveted — a big roster of fashion brands.